Make Your Own Standing Warming Rack For Grilling With An Easy Tin Can Hack

Thanks to higher-end grills, grillmasters have various heating settings, grilling surfaces, and burners. They also have one of many grill's overlooked secret weapons — the warming rack. However, not every grill comes with a warming rack. If you own a basic charcoal grill, then it's likely you have little else but a surface to cook on. Fortunately, you don't have to have a grill that has all the bells and whistles. You can easily add a warming rack to your current setup without spending hundreds of dollars on a bigger grill. All you need is a couple of tin or aluminum cans. 

Any tin cans will do for this hack, but you want to make sure that they are the same size. So feel free to empty out those baked beans or cream corn and repurpose their cans. You should clean the cans first and, ideally, use three or four to distribute weight. You're going to use the cans as a base for a warming rack. You can purchase a small warming rack online for around $30, depending on where you shop. From there, it's all a matter of simply placing the rack on the cans. Since it's not bolted to the grill, you will want to be careful not to knock it over.

The warming rack is a useful tool

If you've never used a warming rack, you may be perplexed why one would go through the trouble of jerry-rigging a warming rack to their grill. But a warming rack is an incredibly useful tool to have for a couple of reasons. 

The warming rack is a great way to keep those steaks and pork chops warm while you finish cooking other meat on the grill. No one likes a cold dinner, but you can't leave your meat on the grill without it burning. Because the warming rack is higher up, it's away from the direct heat from the flames. As a result, your meat will stay warm thanks to the residual heat, but you won't have to worry about explaining why it looks like a worn tire. 

Given its distance from the direct heat of the grill, a warming rack is also a great way to slow-cook food as well. This will allow tougher meat to tenderize over a longer period of time. Sear ribeyes to lock in their juices, then let them finish cooking on the warming rack for a more well-rounded steak. You can also use the warming rack to toast more delicate food like bread. 

What foods to cook on a warming rack

As mentioned above, bread is an easy pairing for a warming rack since the addition allows you to prepare nice toasted bread while you focus your attention on the main course. But you can use the warming rack to cook a variety of food, especially meats that require a more delicate touch. Consider cooking chicken with a warming rack, as high temperatures often cause poultry to become overly dry. Barnyard fowl could benefit from a slower cooking time over a lower temperature. 

You could also use the warming rack to prepare ribs as well, letting them sit until they become tender and fall off the bone. But, looking outside of just meat, vegetables would benefit from the accessory as well. You can cook an entire meal at one time by tossing some potatoes and broccoli on the rack until they cook to a nice softness. It's important to note, though, that one shouldn't walk away from the grill when slow-cooking food. Since this warming rack uses tin cans for support, it isn't as stable as what you might find elsewhere.